[Review] Batwoman Episode 1×19: “A Secret Kept From All the Rest”

written by Kate Danvers

It’s the penultimate episode! Time to make mistakes that will set up the conflict in the finale.


Tommy Elliot shoots up a library and then kidnaps a professor. Funny part is the scene starts with a shot of a “quiet please” sign as Tommy affixes a suppressor to one of his guns. Okay, not “ha ha” funny. Also that mask is kinda rough. I know it’s not feasible to wrap the actor in gauze for every scene, but the mask just looks like rubber. The professor is taken back to Arkham and told to translate the journal in between bouts of being tortured with electrocution. When he can’t do it, he’s killed. Alice wants to bring in Luke, but Mouse just wants to drop the whole thing.

Kate tracks down Reagan to a hotel and kicks in her door. Kate wants the journal. Reagan tries to give her the “I still really like you even though I stole from you” spiel, and when asked for the journal again, she swears that who she gave it to will sound worse than it is. Will it, though? Also, she was already interrogated by Julia.

Julia admits to it, but says she was just trying to get the book for Kate. Kate is suspicious that Julia went behind her back and didn’t use her credentials when interrogating Reagan. Julia and Sophie are called to a briefing where they’re told an NSA analyst was kidnapped by the villain whom the media has dubbed “Hush.”

Luke and Kate argue about whether Julia is trustworthy and about Kate losing the journal. The argument ends with Luke storming out. Kate and Mary figure out that Hush has the book once they hear about the second kidnapping victim, and realize the first had a pacemaker that would have sent a signal from where he died. But without Luke, that’s on hold. Luckily, Kate knows another computer expert, Parker Torres…who has just been kidnapped by Hush after Alice burned through the NSA agent in 90 minutes.

Hard to take papier-mâché seriously.

Luckily, Parker was video chatting with her girlfriend when she was kidnapped, and told her girlfriend to call Kate. Mary runs comms while Kate speeds after Hush on the bike. She stops the van and saves Parker, but Hush gets away.

Luke has been doing some digging and learned that Julia has gone rogue. When confronted about this, Julia claims to have been fired for “freelancing” for another agency. That’s…that’s what treason is. Am I wrong? That’s what treason is, right? She refuses to disclose who she’s working for. Luke gets a call from Kate asking where he is. Luke warns Julia she can either tell him or tell Kate what’s going on. Julia cryptically says there’s stuff about Kate he doesn’t know. A short time later, Hush arrives and kidnaps the pair at gunpoint. Right outside Crows headquarters. Say it with me: The Crows suck.

Speaking of how much the Crows suck at their jobs, Jacob is upset about Batwoman’s fight with Hush on the freeway. Sophie tries to speak in Batwoman’s defense, but Jacob thinks the two masks are going to get people killed. Put a pin in that; we’re going to talk about it later.

Parker is taken to the Batcave. This irks Mary, who just keeps seeing more people who knew Kate’s secret before she did. Oh, and Sophie just arrived at Wayne Tower. Well, Mary, you’re not the last person to know…wait, I guess Sophie did figure it out already, but was tricked into thinking she was wrong, so technically? I don’t know.

Sophie is looking for Julia, and golly does it get awkward when Sophie asks Kate if she has a problem with her getting involved with Julia. Mary and Parker are watching the security feed from the Batcave and living for the drama. Kate gives her “blessing” to Sophie and also learns that Julia was last seen with Luke, who also isn’t answering his phone.

Remember to stand six feet apart when awkwardly talking to your ex about dating her ex. Safety first, lesbians.

Luke and Julia are taken to Arkham to decode the journal. Julia is strapped into the electroshock chair to encourage Luke to work. Luke convinces Hush to leave the room so he can concentrate. He’s not sure he’s smart enough, feeling inadequate compared to his father. Julia has faith in him, though. Luke figures out part of the code by figuring out what languages it’s in, but he still needs a number code to shift the letters. Julia suggests it’s random, but Luke knows his dad, and he’d never use something random.

JULIA: “Maybe personal to him.”
LUKE: “Or personal to me.”

Aww, it’s Luke’s birthd–

LUKE: “He used my Social Security number.”

Not the heartwarming personal number I would have gone with, but sure, yeah, why not? He can decode the book now, but what he reads is something he can’t give to Alice. They’re going to have to die to protect what’s in that journal.

Meanwhile, Kate has Parker track the last signal from the first victim’s pacemaker. Mary, who is going through Lucius Fox’s old things, discovers a pair of high-tech glasses that automatically translate the coded journals.

“Laser ipsum, tech jargon. Big words. Science journal. Ye who read these words of wit, eat this massive pile of–“

Parker finally tracks the pacemaker’s signal to Arkham. Kate knows her sister is involved and heads out. Unfortunately, she has to beat up Arkham’s guards, which alerts the Crows. Knowing that the victims found so far have suffered electrical burns, she searches for electrical frequencies and arrives just in time to save Julia from electrocution. Kate trades the glasses for her friends’ freedom, despite Luke’s objections.

Side note, when Alice looks at the journal, she’s looking at a paragraph talking about the resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul, the Suit of Sorrows, and Azrael before going into…hold up.

That looks like a Wikipedia citation. Did they–? *Googles text* Yeah, they copied a paragraph from the Batsuit Wikipedia page. Woof. Anyway, the next paragraph begins with “THE MEANS OF PENETRATING THE BATSUIT,” so we’re back on the railgun thing.

Kate escorts Luke and Julia down the hallway, then gives them directions to one of Arkham’s many, many secret escape routes before she goes back to get the glasses from Alice. A guard spots her in the hall and sounds the alarm. When Alice hears the alarm, she decides to throw the whole Arkham takeover out the window and pushes the “open all doors and let the prisoners out” button. Why do we even have that button? Kate tries fighting her way through the riot, but apart from saving a few of the staff, she’s getting nowhere. She leaves as the Crows lock down the building.

At Wayne Tower, Luke tries to lecture Kate about how his life isn’t worth putting Batwoman at risk, but she just hugs him and says there’s no Batwoman without Luke Fox. Awww. Then he’s a little dumbfounded by Parker suddenly leaving the Batcave and says “I was gone for five hours.

At Crows HQ, Julia is recovering, just with some numbness in her hand and nerve damage in her arm. She and Sophie kiss just as Kate walks up. Once Sophie leaves, Kate asks Julia about all of the lies and who she’s really working for. Julia says after the Rifle failed to assassinate Batwoman, she followed him back to his boss and made a deal with her to stop going after Kate in exchange for the journal. Julia didn’t know the journal actually had Batwoman killing plans in it, so now the deal is off. Kate wants a name. Safiyah Sohail. It’s no one Kate knows, but apparently Safiyah knows Kate or Batwoman or both. Julia warns that because of her double cross, they both have targets on their backs.

Kate, as Batwoman, responds to the Bat-signal on the roof of the GCPD. Jacob is there, and blames her for the Arkham breakout. He says Alice has become Batwoman’s Joker, and they play off each other and Gotham gets hurt. He warns her to leave Gotham or he’ll declare war on her…again, I guess.


Mouse is angry about being forced to leave Arkham. He was happy there in his new life as Dr. Butler. Alice doesn’t care, though, because she’s focused on killing Batwoman. All she needs is for Hush to get her some Kryptonite.

…you know that’s the other show, right, Alice?

Okay, I’ve already said my piece about the Batsuit-piercing weapon, but I really need to explain why this is bad. We’re going into the season finale with the exact same stakes that we had in two other episodes – big, scary weapon that can penetrate the Batsuit. I know they didn’t get all of the filming done and this probably wasn’t the finale they had in mind, but it’s just kind of lackluster, even with the Kryptonite angle. Hopefully something else comes along to spice things up.

I suppose the Crows and Jacob hunting Batwoman could be that extra angle. While Jacob hasn’t exactly been Batwoman’s biggest fan before now, it feels like there should have been another episode or two for that subplot to cook. I really don’t get why he’s suddenly under the impression that Batwoman and Alice have a codependent relationship. Every single scheme Alice has cooked up so far has actually been related to Jacob and/or Kate, not Batwoman. Yes yes, Kate is Batwoman, but Jacob doesn’t know that and wouldn’t be blaming her if he did. It’s just very odd that suddenly he’s seeing Batwoman and Alice tied together and not acknowledging Alice’s consistent actual targets.

Julia’s betrayal (first hinted at last week) really comes across as a none pizza with left beef in this episode. A-ha, she made a deal with Safiyah! …so she’s not actually loyal to Safiyah? Making her look shady and sinister last episode was for naught?

I’m a little disappointed that Safiyah and Kate don’t have their comic history in the series. That would have made for a more interesting villain, in my opinion. Julia’s “she knows you” could mean anything – maybe Safiyah heard about Batwoman and is concerned with her protecting territory she wants to take over. Maybe they do have a history and Kate doesn’t remember. Or the history is still there and Safiyah was just going by a different name when she was with Kate. Or Kate has history with her on Earth-Prime that she didn’t on Earth-1. Hopefully we get some answers next season or in a cliffhanger next week.

I know it sounds like I didn’t like the episode. I did; there were some great moments. I’m just disappointed with the rush. I know that’s not their fault – production had to be shut down and two episodes had to be cut. They’re making do with what they’ve got, but it’s still a little frustrating to watch. Especially when Kate just hands over glasses that Alice didn’t know about as a bargaining chip because the script says Alice gets plans to the weapon somehow. Hopefully things get wrapped up in a satisfying way next week.

Next time: The season finale…ish.


Batwoman airs Sunday nights at 8 Eastern/7 Central on the CW. Kate would make a lorem ipsum joke here but she’s still trying to figure out if her editor has noticed she keeps changing this text. [Yes. -Ed.] Oh, and she’s on Twitter @WearyKatie.

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